Meneses looking at complete overhaul after JRU’s woeful season
Ask coach Vergel Meneses what went wrong for Jose Rizal this season, the first thing that would mind is this: “We don’t have a leader on the team. We don’t have Michael Mabulac.”
Wrapping up a disappointing NCAA Season 92 campaign, Meneses could only rue the lack of a main man for the Heavy Bombers he last saw in Mabulac, his hardworking forward who graduated two years back.
Though the entirety of their partnership in JRU saw Meneses give Mabulac a tough love treatment, the PBA legend admits he misses having that guy to motivate and will the team behind.
“Wala kaming ganoon. For the past two years, wala. Buti nga nakalusot ako last year. Wala kaming vocal. Kumbaga, by example ang leader namin,” he said.
But that’s not the lone issue in JRU’s disastrous year, even pointing himself as one of those at fault.
“Nag-struggle ako talaga sa depensa. Hindi yung automatic na mag-press tayo pag lamang ang kalaban. Maybe attitude, isa din yun,” he said.
“Hindi ko inexpect na ganito. Kahit di kami rated sa top four, pero alam ko sa sarili ko na we’re a strong team. Personally, sa akin OK lang. Kahit kaninong team, nangyayari yan. Kung didibdibin ko yan, anong mangyayari sa akin? Maybe this is not the year for JRU. Last year, ilang beses din kami pumasok. You cannot win it all. Pero syempre, ito yung tingin ko na almost intact. Yung ibang team, puro bago eh. Pag tinignan mo, dapat kami talaga ang papasok, pero talagang ganoon.”
In hopes of turning the squad’s fate for the future, Meneses hinted of a complete overhaul as the Heavy Bombers look forward to next year.
“Next week, we’ll evaluate everything: what went wrong, anong kailangan palitan, sino kailangan maglaro para sa akin sa mga Team B ko. Di naman sure din na yung naka-lineup will be back next year. There’s no guarantee. Titignan ko rin yung off the bench na di ko naman napakinabangan at di naka-contribute, ibababa ko muna sila,” he said. “Lahat kami, i-evaluate. Pati coaches ko, yung mali ko. Di lang pwede isang side lang na puro players.”
Meneses is wishing that something positive will come out of this as JRU seeks a return trip to the Final Four next season.
“Ang problema namin yung JRU. Tingin ng players kaya nila ang kalaban. Wala yung pride. Siguro dapat talaga may dala akong isang sakong pusa kasi ayaw mawala yung daga,” he said. “Very disappointing season talaga. Ie-evaluate namin lahat kung saan kami nagkamali.”
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